I've set my units (UnitSettings.system) to Imperial in PropertiesSceneUnits. I can now see my measurements in imperial units. For example, I see that the Z-gravity is set to -32.185 ft/s2.

However, when I enter any units into an operator, the default (metric) units are used, and everything is 3.28× greater than it should be. For example, selecting a cube and pressing GX1Enter causes the cube to move 3′ 3.4″ along the X axis. Before pressing Enter to apply the transform, I can see that the status bar reads:

D: 1 | (3' 3.4") along global X

Is there a way to configure Blender so that when I press GX1, it actually moves it one foot?


3 Answers 3


This is now supported, as of this commit (it's in 2.70).

To use this:

  1. Start the modal transform operator (grab, rotate, etc.)

  2. Press = to enter advanced mode

  3. Enter the value you want according to the units you have selected (e.g. for imperial: 4' 11')

When in advanced mode you can do everything you can do in a normal number button:

enter image description here

If you don't press = to enter advanced mode, it should behave mostly as it did before 2.70.

From the wiki:

We have two "modes", simple and advanced ones, use '=' or 'pad*' to enable advanced mode, and 'ctrl-=' or 'ctrl-pad*' to switch back to simple mode.

Simple mode works nearly like it did before, it only accepts simple numbers, and you can still use '-' to negate and '/' to inverse the value (as well as non-number input shortcuts like XYZ, RSG, etc.). Compared to Blender 2.69 behavior, you can now copy and paste expressions, and navigate in the number you typed, so you can for example fix a typo without having to type everything again.

In advanced mode, we gain more power and flexibility, but lose a few "shortcuts" like '-' to negate, or '/' to inverse. It features:

  • Units (cm, ", deg, etc.).
  • Basic operations from python/BKE_unit (+, *, **, etc.), and math constants and functions (pi, sin, etc.).
  • You can navigate in edited value (left/right key, ctrl to move by block) and insert/delete chars, e.g. to fix a typo without having to rewrite everything.
  • You can copy/paste expression with usual ctrl-C/V.
  • You can go to next/previous value with (ctrl-)TAB key.
  • As before, hitting backspace after having deleted all leading chars will first reset the edited value to init state, and on second press, the whole number editing will be canceled, going back to usual transform with mouse.
  • You can still use the - and / shortcuts, as well as various transform options (like XYZ, E and F for vertex/edge slide, etc.) while in modal numinput mode, you just have to use ctrl to activate them!
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent! Thanks very much! So that's why editing changed... backspace doesn't clear the whole thing anymore, - doesn't negate, etc. I like the idea of new shortcuts for numinput mode. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Jun 24, 2014 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ @WChargin It should behave as before if you don't press = to enable advanced mode. (The reason advanced mode exists is because there was a bit of an uproar when pressing - after entering a value didn't negate it).. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jun 24, 2014 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ The wiki was moved, now it's archive.blender.org/wiki/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.70/… $\endgroup$
    – sergk
    Jul 12, 2019 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @sergk Thanks, updated $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Jul 12, 2019 at 18:54

You can Type Feet & Inches or (1' 2") Notation in Transform : Location Field/Slider to precisely move your mesh. It is just like working in 3dsmax, where you type in the desired numbers for precise movement. enter image description here

In the screen shot, i have precisely moved my box by typing 1 feet 4 inch in Location X : Field/Slider. The distance is calculated from the Pivot of the mesh. A Solid Understanding of the Blender Unit System is available at this link Metric & Blender Units in Blender

  • $\begingroup$ I'm aware of this. However, this limits me to only using the property adjusters to manipulate my objects - and, even worse, vertices. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Aug 11, 2013 at 20:49

1 Blender unit is equivalent to, in imperial measurements, 3 feet, or, with the metric system, 1 meter. Due to the fact that the makers of Blender come from Europe, this is the system of measurement they are accustomed to. So in order to get 1 ft. you will want to use GX.3.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It's not exactly one foot though. It's 11.81102 inches. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Aug 11, 2013 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ not exactly, but for practical purposes it is close enough. Off by what? .4 $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2013 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ It's off by more than 1.5%. This is more than enough to allow tolerance errors. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Aug 12, 2013 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ So what .02 inches? Maybe in blender that is a big deal but as far as actuall building is concerned then .02 inches off is not that big a deal, and barely perceptable. You would have to zoom in on blender to see that small of an error. But this is your question, so It is a mute point anyway. Believe what you want $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2013 at 23:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (1) It's not 0.02 inches, it's 0.20 inches. That's a difference in itself. (2) There are many cases where this matters. For example, an engine piston can have tolerances of anywhere from 0.004 inches to 0.0002 inches - 50 to 1000 times the error induced by this method. Or, consider a sliding drawer that couldn't fit in a hole. Or, consider a hallway that's illegal because it's three inches too short and isn't sufficiently accessible for the disabled. These are just a few examples. $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Aug 14, 2013 at 0:15

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